Wal-Mart Further Expands Drug Discount Program
Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday announced plans to expand a generic prescription drug discount program introduced last month to 12 additional states, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports (AP/Houston Chronicle, 10/26).
Wal-Mart last month announced that the program -- under which some company pharmacies would sell 30-day prescriptions of certain generic medications for $4 -- would initially include 65 Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Neighborhood Market pharmacies in the Tampa, Fla., and would expand statewide in early 2007 and possibly to other states in the future. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart expanded the program statewide in Florida and later announced plans to expand the program to Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Vermont (California Healthline, 10/20).
According to the latest announcement, Wal-Mart will expand the program to Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Dakota and Virginia. Wal-Mart officials said that the company plans to expand the program to additional states as soon as possible (AP/Houston Chronicle, 10/26).
Target officials said that company pharmacies will match the prices for generic medications offered by Wal-Mart pharmacies.
Walgreen and CVS officials said that company pharmacies currently sell generic medications included in the Wal-Mart program at a price of $5 or less.
On Tuesday, BJ's Wholesale Club announced a program under which company pharmacies will sell 30-day prescriptions of certain generic medications for $4 (Lopes, Washington Times, 10/26).
In related news, Giant Eagle and Meijer on Wednesday announced programs under which they will provide customers at some company pharmacies with generic versions of seven antibiotics at no cost, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
The Giant Eagle program also will provide customers with generic versions of four cold medications at no cost. Customers will qualify for the programs regardless of their health insurance status (Turner, Columbus Dispatch, 10/25). The Giant Eagle program will include 15 company pharmacies in Columbus, Ohio, and two in Toledo, Ohio (Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/26).
The Meijer program will include all company pharmacies in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan (Columbus Dispatch, 10/25).
Dan Donovan, a spokesperson for Giant Eagle, said, "Should this prove successful, we would look into expanding it into other markets" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/26).
Meijer President Mark Murray said that Wal-Mart has raised this issue of prices for generic medications "to a new level for all retailers," adding that "all of us are looking at our own situations" (Columbus Dispatch, 10/25).